1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13  |  14  |  15  |  16  |  17  |  18  |  19  |  20  |  21  |  22  |  23  |  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  |  35  |  36  |  37  |  38  |  39  |  40  |  41  |  42  |  43  |  44  |  45  |  46  |  47  |  48  |  49  |  50  |  51  |  52  |  53  |  54  |  55  |  56  |  57  |  58  |  59  |  60  |  61  |  62  |  63  |  64  |  65  |  66  |  67  |  68  |  69  |  70  |  71  |  72  |  73  |  74  |  75  |  76  |  77  |  78  |  79  |  80  |  81  |  82  |  83  |  84  |  85  |  86  |  87  |  88  |  89  |  90  |  91  |  92  |  93  |  94  |  95  |  96  |  97  |  98  |  99  |  100  |  101  |  102  |  103  |  104  |  105  |  106  |  107  |  108  |  109  |  110  |  111  |  112  |  113  |  114  |  115  |  116  |  117  |  118  |  119  |  120  |  121  |  122  |  123  |  124  |  125  |  126  |  127  |  128  |  129  |  130  |  131  |  132  |  133  |  134  |  135  |  136  |  137  |  138  |  139  |  140  |  141  |  142  |  143  |  144  |  145  |  146  |  147  |  148  |  149  |  150  |  151  |  152  |  153  |  154  |  155  |  156  |  157  |  158  |  159  |  160  |  161  |  162  |  163  |  164  |  165  |  166  |  167  |  168  |  169  |  170  |  171  |  172  |  173  |  174  |  175  |  176  |  177  |  178  |  179  |  180  |  181  |  182  |  183  |  184  |  185  |  186  |  187  |  188  |  189  |  190  |  191  |  192  |  193  |  194  |  195  |  196  |  197  |  198  |  199  |  200  |  201  |  202  |  203  |  204  |  205  |  206  |  207  |  208  |  209  |  210  |  211  |  212  |  213  |  214  |  215  |  216  |  217  |  218  |  219  |  220  |  221  |  222  |  223  |  224  |  225  |  226  |  227  |  228  |  229  |  230  |  231  |  232  |  233  |  234  |  235  |  236  |  237  |  238  |  239  |  240  |  241  |  242  |  243  |  244  |  245  |  246  |  247  |  248  |  249  |  250  |  251  |  252  |  253  |  254  |  255  |  256  |  257  |  258  |  259  |  260  |  261  |  262  |  263  |  264  |  265  |  266  |  267  |  268  |  269  |  270  |  271  |  272  |  273  |  274  |  275  |  276  |  277  |  278  |  279  |  280  |  281  |  282  |  283  |  284  |  285  |  286  |  287  |  288  |  289  |  290  |  291  |  292  |  293  |  294  |  295  |  296  |  297  |  298  |  299  |  300  |  301  |  302  |  303  |  304  |  305  |  306  |  307  |  308  |  309  |  310  |  311  |  312  |  313  |  314  |  315  |  316  |  317  |  318  |  319  |  320  |  321  |  322  |  323  |  324  |  325  |  326  |  327  |  328  |  329  |  330  |  331  |  332  |  333  |  334  |  335  |  336  |  337  |  338  |  339  |  340  |  341  |  342  |  343  |  344  |  345  |  346  |  347  |  348  |  349  |  350  |  351  |  352  |  353  |  354  |  355  |  356  |  357  |  358  |  359  |  360  |  361  |  362  |  363  |  364  |  365  |  366  |  367  |  368  |  369  |  370  |  371  |  372  |  373  |  374  |  375  |  376  |  377  |  378  |  379  |  380  |  381  |  382  |  383  |  384  |  385  |  386 

Video: How not to do an American accent

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | How not to do an American accent

With video.

Everyone can do an American accent... at least everyone thinks they can. But how many would pass muster with a Hollywood studio? The BBC's Stephen Robb took a lesson from one of the movie industry's top accent coaches.

Any actor or actress hoping to convince in a foreign accent must have three words in the back of their mind at all times.

They won't be phrases like "shape of mouth", "position of tongue" or "placement of voice" - although all of these will be fundamental to learning and adopting an accent.

The three words haunting the performer, driving hour after hour of dialect practice, are "Dick", "Van" and "Dyke".

The Wire -- McNuggets

The Wire: McNuggets

July 21, 2008

Violet Blue on the Boing Boing thing

ad hominem on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

A language with no specific numbers

Language Without Numbers: Amazonian Tribe Has No Word To Express 'One,' Other Numbers

The team, led by MIT professor of brain and cognitive sciences Edward Gibson, found that members of the Piraha tribe in remote northwestern Brazil use language to express relative quantities such as "some" and "more," but not precise numbers.

It is often assumed that counting is an innate part of human cognition, said Gibson, "but here is a group that does not count. They could learn, but it's not useful in their culture, so they've never picked it up."

The study, which appeared in the June 10 online edition of the journal Cognition, offers evidence that number words are a concept invented by human cultures as they are needed, and not an inherent part of language, Gibson said.

Photos: Olympic preparation

Beijing 2008 Preparations - Three Weeks to Go - The Big Picture - Boston.com

These are all quite gorgeous.

McCain Warns Of ‘Hard Struggle’ On The "Iraq-Pakistan Border"

Think Progress -- McCain Warns Of ‘Hard Struggle’ On The ‘Iraq-Pakistan Border’

Today on Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) refused to call the situation in Afghanistan “precarious and urgent,” but admitted that “We have a lot of work to do.” He warned of a “very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.”

I never really thought about what "take no prisoners" means

Marine: 'We Didn't Take Any Prisoners'

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine sergeant accused of murdering an unarmed Iraqi captive during heavy fighting in Fallujah in 2004 was heard on tape July 10 telling how his squad argued over what to do with their prisoners and saying he "did one guy" as they sought to keep up with their unit.

The recording was made when Sgt. Ryan Weemer, 25, was applying for a job with the Secret Service. It was played by military prosecutors at the start of an Article 32 hearing in which investigating officer Maj. Glen Hines will determine whether there is enough evidence to support a court-martial.

In the interview, Weemer said he and other squad members killed four unarmed Iraqis they were holding in a boarded-up house because they didn't have time to take the men to a jail.

"We called up to the platoon leader and the response was, 'Are they dead yet?'" Weemer said on the tape.

Freddie Mac chairman got $20 million bonus while running the company into the ground

Freddie Mac CEO got $19.8 million in '07 - Mortgage Mess- msnbc.com

NEW YORK - Freddie Mac Chairman and Chief Executive Richard Syron pocketed nearly $19.8 million in compensation last year, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, even though the mortgage company's stock lost half its value in 2007.

If Syron stays at the helm of Freddie Mac through the end of next year, he will receive nearly $20 million in stock awards if the board says he has met certain goals. This year, he is guaranteed to get $8.8 million in stock grants regardless of performance.

A John McCain New Yorker cover?

Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip -- Greatest Ever New Yorker Cover

What would a New Yorker cover featuring all of the nasty myths about John McCain look like?

a jaunty young John, in his pilot uniform, sitting comfortably and chatting with his Vietnamese captors. Two gorgeous gals serve his every wish. He is smoking a cigar and drinking a martini. In the next room other POWs are being intensively interrogated.

Wild mustang or feral horse?

Federal Agency Proposes a Euthanasia Program for Its Herd of Mustangs - NYTimes.com

The champions of wild mustangs have long portrayed them as the victims of ranchers who preferred cattle on the range, middlemen who wanted to make a buck selling them for horsemeat and misfits who shot them for sport. But the wild horse today is no longer automatically considered deserving of extensive protections.

Some environmentalists and scientists have come to see the mustangs, which run wild from Montana to California, as top-of-the-food-chain bullies, invaders whose hooves and teeth disturb the habitats of endangered tortoises and desert birds.

Even the language has shifted. In a 2006 article in Audubon magazine, wild horses lost their poetry and were reduced to “feral equids.”

“There’s not just horses out there, there’s other critters, from the desert turtle in the south to the bighorn sheep in the north,” said Paula Morin, the author of the book “Honest Horses.”

Male lust is blind

Male lust is blind, research suggests - Telegraph

Men have long been accused of judging women on looks alone, but even the plainest Jane can get their hormones raging, a study has found.

Research involving a group of male students found that their levels of the hormone testosterone increased to the same extent whether they were talking to a young woman they found attractive – or to one they didn't fancy much at all.

After 300 seconds alone in the same room as a woman they had never met before, and in some cases did not find particularly attractive, the men's testosterone levels of the hormone had shot up by an average of around eight per cent.

(via Tor's new site)

July 20, 2008

More Dr. Horrible to come?

The Watcher - All TV, all the time | Chicago Tribune | Blog

Whedon, who’s currently working on the mid-season Fox show “Dollhouse,” has a lot of plans for future “Dr. Horrible” projects (by the way, streaming ends at midnight Sunday, so get it free while you can). An online comic has already been released, a graphic novel is planned and the commentary track on the DVD release will all be sung by the cast and creators. There could be a sequel as well, Harris said.

“Joss has some strange, giant master plan that includes much more than a sequel,” Harris said. “Joss thinks on a great many levels, so when he was pitching it to us, he said, ‘And this will take over the world, and there will be sequels and musicals on stage and feature films and we’ll get our own television network and they’ll name awards after us’ and things like that.”

The first mass-produced air-powered car

Tata Motors to introduce Air Car | India Business Blog

The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels.

The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($ 2). Tata motors also plans to launch the world’s cheapest car, Tata Nano priced famously at One lakh rupees by October.

The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed air. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc.

There are no keys - just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 105 kmph. Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers.

Is fan fiction legal?

Literary Review of Canada Online - Friction over Fan Fiction

Undaunted by this, Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of law at Georgetown University, and a keen fan fiction writer herself, wants to take fan fiction out of the legal shadows where it has operated, more or less at sufferance, for decades, and carve out a legal place for it within the US doctrine of fair use. She has recently helped found the Organization for Transformative Works, with the mandate to establish fan fiction within the parameters of legal, non-infringing use.

Tushnet argues that the writing of non-commercial fan fiction is fair use. Fair, because it takes the source material as raw material and creatively transforms it in ways that copyright law is meant to encourage – for example, by expanding covert meanings perceived to be present or implicit in the original text, presenting new interpretations and viewpoints, or reflecting critically on the original content – and because it is extremely unlikely to substitute economically for, or damage the market of, the original work. “Like a book review that quotes a work in order to criticize it, a retelling of a story that offers the villain’s point of view or adds explicit sexual content can be a transformative fair use,” she maintains.

But there is an opposing view that considers fan fiction to be insufficiently transformative. Although the characters may be harnessed to a different story vision, or even set in an alternative universe, fan fiction is essentially a narrative reworking with key fictional elements of the original; a derivative work, not a critical work, unlike a book review. In this view, copyright owners are entitled to protect their characters against fans’ distortions.

(via Scalzi)

Mash-up: Star Wars & Rush Hour

Star Wars vs. Rush Hour